Gender Stereotypes in School Textbooks
Keywords:stereotypes, school textbook, fairy tales, educational consequences, qualitative study
Gender stereotype patterns are present in more cultural products and consistent across a variety of reading materials and in various cultures. This paper aims to examine the gender stereotypes in school textbooks for primary level. We analyzed the curriculum materials (textbooks, supplies) and two Romanian fairy tales included, using a qualitative approach. The findings confirm the negative discrimination of women and favoring treatment of men. In both the pictures and the texts, masculine presence is dominant and the occupations of men and women are often traditionalist and anachronistic. Activities of men are presented more frequently in public space, of women in the private space, according to the negative gender stereotypes. The analysis of the most famous fairy tales, present for a long time in the curriculum, identified heroes and heroines whose behaviors confirm the gender stereotype and others who are counter-stereotyped. Comparison of same studies about gender stereotypes in school textbooks, conducted at different years in Romanian context, indicated that gender equity increase in recent schoolbooks, including increased visibility of women. The last part of this paper proposes some ways to reduce gender stereotypes effects, useful to teachers, school counselors and parents, in a democratic and anti-bias school and family.
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